You may choose to have sex at university; you may not – if you do, it's important that you practice safe sex and have a good grasp of sexual health issues. In this section, we provide information about contraception, different types of sex acts and a range of sexually transmitted infections – what they are, what their symptoms are and how to protect yourself. If you are having sex, it's important to have regular sexual health check-ups, particularly if you've been having unprotected sex.
It's vital for you and your partners' health to have sex safely; this means deciding what kinds of sex to have, with whom and when, to communicate with partners and to use contraception.
Communication's essential - know yourself and your boundaries, tell partners, and check in on and respect theirs. Use full, enthusiastic consent as a baseline: don't make assumptions, but keep on talking and checking in ('is this okay?').
Whilst STIs are usually something that we as a community stay silent about, you will probably know someone who's had at least one or two of the more common infections, yet they're rarely talked about and we think it won't happen to us. However, anyone who has ever had sex may have an STI.
The Laurels Clinic
20 Newmarket Road, CB5 8DT
This is Cambridge's sexual health clinic. It is easy to get to and worth popping into if you have any queries about your sexual health. They have a sexual health drop in clinic on Mondays from 15.00-17.00 which you don't need to book to go to.
Playing It Safe
Information from the NHS, including your nearest GUM clinic
0800 28 29 30 (7am-midnight)
Confidential advice line
Sexual Health Line:
0800 567 123 (24 hours)
Free confidential advice on STIs, sexual health and where to find local services
NHS Leaflet for Women who have sex with Women
Sexual health education at schools often ellipses sexual health education for women who have sex with women. Click here for some information about protecting yourself if you are having sex with women.
The Family Planning Association
0845 310 1334 (Monday to Friday 9am-6pm)
Cambridge-based HIV-AIDS charity, offering information about safer sex as well as support to those diagnosed with HIV-AIDS